New Piti Elementary School

Hafa adai!

This school, one of the few elementary schools on Guam when I was there in the late 1970s-early 1980s, doesn’t exist anymore — or, at least, the name doesn’t exist on any current school; I checked online.

But that doesn’t mean that alumni from that school — often military kids scattered all over the globe these days — don’t try to find each other to reminisce.

Here are some comments that I received from New Piti Elementary School alums:

From Joanna on January 29, 2008:
Hi Lizardqueen!
I just happened to run across your site while looking for information on my old elementary school(New Piti). What years did you go there? Just curious if maybe we went to school together=)

From Duncan W. on February 1, 2008:
I attended New Piti School in 1960-61. Please feel free to Email me. I have many memories of Guam. GUAM IS GOOD!

From flip mane on May 8, 2008:
I went to New Piti in 1979-80. I was in 4th grade at that time. I remember living on the Navy Base. But that’s about all I remember about my one year living on that island.

From DAVID on February 20, 2009:
I went to Piti in 1964 through 1967. I loved the island. The beach . The naval base. The outside movies.

If you read my post Back to Basics, you’ll see a brief description of my New Piti classes, and you’ll have an inkling of why we far-flung alums are still loyal to an elementary school (and an island) that we haven’t attended nor seen in decades.


48 thoughts on “New Piti Elementary School

  1. I taught 6th grade at New Piti from 66-72! I remember lots of wonderful kids that I learned from– I was a fairly new teacher and learned a lot! I remember the typhoon warnings and securing the classroom that had only screens for windows — I certainly remember the trips to Saipan— the kids earned money and we explored Saipan! I loved Guam!!!!! Would love to hear from ex-students about your lives since 6th grade!

  2. I went to new piti from 71 to 74. The only teacher I can remember is 5th grade teacher Mrs tomassini. We attended that class in a portable.

  3. Dear Lizardqueen, I went to 6th grade at Piti, I don’t remember the Junior high,1963-65, father in Marine Corp we lived in Tipalao, at end of street toward the seawall was a concrete bunker/machine gun embankment. Rode water buffalo’s at the Navy Relief carnival, sent shrimping at Talafofo falls. I remember the night blooming jasmine driving around the hospital on Nimitz hill.

  4. I lived on Aldrich Rd in Lockwood Terrace next door to the Lowe family. (Commander Lowe’s father had been Governor of Guam years before.) I attended 6th grade at New Piti Elementary 71-72. Mr. Corney was my teacher the first semester, and was replaced by Miss Miltonberger because he transferred to the position of school counselor midterm.

    Orote Point was so cool! picnics at Gab Gab beach, sailing in Apra habor, exploring “crashboats”, fleeing the SP’s patrolling the Japanese airstrip, Skeet/Trap range, Spanish steps, a network of caves, just to name a few of the wonderland delights. (It’s a wonder I survived such fun!)

  5. Lived in Lockwood Terrace at 6 New St. Attended New Piti from 1966 to 1968. 5th grade teacher was Ms. Wyatt and 6th grade was Ms. Woodward. Lived in Magnilao (sic) when we first arrived in May 1966. Didn’t want to move there (dad was in the Coast Guard), but after 2 years I didn’t want to leave!

    1. Dave, I lived at 10 New Street, Lockwood Terrace, about 1969-73, and had Ms. Woodward for 6th grade at New Piti. She was so awesome (I especially remember she had us raise money to charter a plane to Saipan for a week, and we did it, sixth grade, unbelievable teacher). I was just now remembering her and looked her up to see whatever happened to her. This site came up in Google, probably because of your post. Thanks! .

    2. Lived on Guam 65-68
      Had Ms Woodward for 6th grade
      Won spelling bee, went to National Spelling Bee in DC when I was in 7th grade-can’t remember name of junior high school-as representative of Guam
      Ms Woodward went with,I remember staying at her house in Baltimore after Spelling Bee over
      Lived on Nimitz Hill

      1. What an amazing site that was sent to me. I remember so much about the wonderful years I spent as a 6th grade teacher at New Piti! I do remember you Steve — and how amazing to see your name. I did go to the Spelling Bee with you 🙂 You were an amazing student — tell me what you have done since 6th grade 🙂

  6. My dad was in the Navy worked/lived on Nimitz Hill. I went to Piti School around 1962-1965. We were there for Typhoon Karen. I remember seeing the damaged classrooms. As I remember, we continued to go to Piti, going to either morning or afternoon sessions until it was repaired. Had a few weeks off from school…as I remember. No electricity or running water. Farm animals roaming around the Navy housing. The Guam rail was still around. I can still remember the smell of the smashed toads. Geckos in houses. Shrews. Outdoor movies with the officers and their families getting preferential seating (sheltered). Good memories.

    1. Lived in Guam Nimitz Hill from 1962 to 1964 went to piti elementary school. Remember typhoon Karen very well the outdoor movie and the shrews.

  7. HI,I remember Gab Gab beach and diving off the cement block into the ocean. It seemed to me 2nd grade was Piti 1 and 3rd grade was Piti 2. My step Dad was also on the Protues.Had a great time taking judo with my instructor Max Gordon. I use to go with my little bodies and explore the caves, Jimmy Johnson and Stanly Harden. I remember finding to machine guns in a cave that were full of sand to heavy to pick up. So many memories and great ones too of Guam. The years a little fuzzy around 1963 through 1966. I had a crush on a little native girl name Barbra who would bring me a mango to school everyday . It was good reading a lot of everyone’s experiences of there time on Guam, as for me it would be one of the best memories of my life. Stay Well, Richard Pomranky

  8. I lived on Guam from 63 to 70 going to Old Piti. New piti had just been built. My father was on the Proteus after running the Mighty Mouse Tugboat.We were there when Guam Bear delivering our Christmas gifts was struck by another bessel, My dad was in charge of towing it out and sinking it, I have videos of the sinking,

  9. My father was in the Navy and we lived on a street called No. Tipalao. I went to Old Piti from 1968 to 1971. I remember having a teacher by the name of Mr. Schwartz who drove a polka dotted volkswagon bug, catching polliwogs during school (everyone had cups with polliwogs on the way back to base on the bus), and I remember 2 friends (Michelle Green and Leslie Nolan). Those were fantastic years!

    1. hi im mark and i lived on guam from 1969-1973 i live on north tipalao itnot a road its a area there is also south tipalao i lived on pacific ave nrth tp ,went t piti one year and a half then went to agat jr. high from 71-73 (witch is now called oceanview middle school

  10. my oldest veione hodges went to new piti from late 1982-1983., before that she went to harry s truman from 1980-1982. My husband was in the navy and we lived in new apra base housing.

  11. Old Piti and New Piti for me late 60’s. USN brat – dad was on the Proteus. How about all the dried flat frogs after the rainy season? Now I hear the brown boas ate all the small critters.

  12. I’m not sure if it was Lockwood Terrace, but I lived on the naval base from ’68-’70. I went to Old Piti for 2nd grade and New Piti for 3rd grade. I remember I had Mrs. Roberts for 3rd grade. We lived at 29 Hibiscus Avenue, right near the circular drive for what I believe was the Dental Clinic. Even though I was only 7 and 8 years old at the time, I remember I had free reign of the base on my bike. I would head off to the boonies with my friends on Saturdays or summer mornings, and not come back until dinner time. I had great fun exploring caves and finding sea glass along the lagoon below the cliff behind our house. It was only a couple of years after we left that they found a Japanese soldier who had been living in the boonies since WW II. He didn’t even know the war was over. Because Vietnam was still in full swing, B-52s used to fly over on their way into and out of Andersen Air Force Base. What great memories I have of Guam!

  13. I lived in Lockwood Terrace during 1970-72. For some reason I think I went to Old Piti for 2nd grade and New Piti for 3rd grade, but my memory could just be fuzzy too. I don’t remember the name of the street I lived on, but it seemed to be down a hill from the barracks. Neat to find this blog!

  14. lived at 5 Berry st Lockwood Terrace 1962-1964 went to old Piti elementary which was destroyed by Typhoon Karen. Used to try swimming in tennis shoes at Gab Gab beach to avoid stonefish.

    1. Ed,
      was just reading your comments and had to laugh as it brought back memories. My father was also stationed on the Proteus 64-66 and I remember wearing those tennis shoes as well because of stone fish. Did you ever go to the outdoor movie theater 2 Lockwood terrace ?

  15. I lived at 4 Gardenia, Sumay from 1962 to 1965 and attended Piti Elem. I had Ms. Reyes for third grade, Mr. Quanga for fourth, and Ms. Gates for fifth. We were a navy family. This period of my life was the most memorable! My brothers and I had so much fun “booney crashing” and exploring the caves around the naval station near Apra Harbor.

    1. I had Ms. Gates for 5th grade. Actually she lived across the street from me.
      We were a Navy family also. Good time in my life, outside movies, walking through the airfield to the beach. I delivered the stars and stripes.

  16. I lived in Lockwood Terrace, #3 Anderson St, across from the old abandoned air strip. WOW what a place , Gab-Gab Beach,Tallaffofo falls, Mt Lam-Lam,, I would love to chat about the old days back on Guam if anyone one is interested,,

    1. My family lived on 5 Dyess Street in Lockwood Terrace from ’70 to ’73. Best place to be a kid ever! My family raced motorcycles as well, motocross was just a baby then.

    1. I taught 4th grade at New Piti in the 71-72 school year. My name was Mrs. Brennan. Maybe you were in my class?

      1. My sister and I were at New Piti from ’70-’72. I remember having Mrs Marxer for 3rd Grade. (but I might be confusing schools/states/continents). I don’t remember Mrs Brennan, but I suspect I probably saw you around and didn’t know your name. I lived at Lockwood Heights (that’s what I thought it was called), and remember going to Inarajan, and remember hearing about the Japanese soldier that thought WW II was still going on….

  17. My brothers and I lived on the Naval base in 1979-1980. I was in 3rd grade at New Piti. I remember alot about the base but not the address of our base house. I remember eating ramen noodles and when went back to the states they didn’t get it there until many years later. I recall the fresh fruit was over abundance. Going to Gab-gab beach, and having large barbecues with other families. getting ice cream at Baskin Robins, and going to the local swimming pool.

  18. Hello! Wow, just reading these posts have definetely taken me far back into wonderful memories…I lived in Guam..I believe 1980 -1983 5&6 grade attending Harry S Truman elementary, then moving over to New Piti Middle school..(i think) so then we lived in naval housing OFF base..oh so much fun. I also swam for the dolphin swim coaches, husband and wife, lived right on the ocean, we went to a bar-b-que at their little home and we all swam out in the ocean with dolphins!! I had a guamanian boyfriend in elementary named Edward, big beefy chamorro and in middle school one name Fred..silly memories..and I remember a girl name Florina Flores…so I miss the food, pickled papaya, pancit, sugar cane, & all the bananas..and I remember eating at a restaraunt called the onion ring house…I think, anyways, soon as you sat down, they immediately brought onion rings, a huge plate full…So many memories, hope someone remembers me! If so, please contact me!

  19. I went to Piti Elementary in ’77-78 for my 5th grade year while my step-dad was stationed at the naval base. My teacher was John Taylor, who had come to Guam from Kentucky as part of the VISTA program. Living here was the highlight of my childhood! Reading all your posts, my mind is flooded with memories of nibbling 10-cents worth of tongue-searing pickled papaya at recess, attending Tahitian dance lessons during PE, and, yes, getting my butt kicked at tether-ball. Classmates that I remember fondly were Cathy, John, Michelle Padua (don’t ask me how I remember her whole name), and my best friend on base, Monica Youngblood. Monica’s dad, Joe, took us on boonie-stomping adventures all over the island. Our favorite day-trip was snorkeling at Spanish Steps, and going up to the cliff to look at Glass Breakwater. Wow, thanks for the chance to reminisce. My prayers are with those now on Guam during the tsunami warning. Hope all is well there. Trish

    1. Hi Tricia! Yes I remember those days…The Lord must have led me to your post 🙂 check out the new piti fb page. Blessings and thank you lizard queen for having this blog up

      1. I went to New Piti Elementary from 1977-1980 5th 6th grades. I remembered one of my teachers, Mr. Cabral, who used to like to play the guitar , two of my friends I always hung out with, David Benson and Ross Howard. Lived on McMillan Drive on the Naval base, 2226-B to be exact, and the big Typhoon that hit the island right before we had to transfer out, Typhoon Rita. Favorite place to have Dinner was THE YAKITORI!!!Great memories of some great times I had back then!
        You wouldn’t happen to be Monica Youngblood are you? Don’t know if you remember me, (hope you do!) but I’m Alan, lived down the street from you. 🙂

    2. Tricia, we overlapped some years but apparently had different teachers. A navy dependent, I went here from ’76 to ’78. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Kroll, principal, Ms. Chargualaf, chaperone (parapro) Ms. Quenga, Michelle Padua, Eddie Sanchez, Todd Christianson, Johnny Cruz, Tony Santos, Ricky Rapolla, Daniel Wright, Anthony Tablazon. Vance who sold empanadas in the morning. Exploring the jungle above school. Surprise singing appearance in the cafeteria by Jimmy Dee. Saturday Night Fever 45s spinning on record players. Kickball, pickled papaya and lots more. Would live it again if I could. Best!

  20. Hi, Jon,

    I have a co-worker who was stationed at Guam when he was in the Air Force — at Anderson AFB — from 1986-1990. Even back then he told me Guam was starting to change.

    Often my younger sister and I think about visiting Guam again, but we both know our memories of the late 1970s-early 1980s are likely nothing like the Guam of 2010… so it’s been more of a “what-if” than a real “to-do” thing.

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing! 🙂

  21. I went to Piti elementary from 77 to around 81, for 1st-4th grade. We lived on base, too, as my dad was in the Navy at the time. Last time I was in Guam was in 92, when I was in the Navy.

  22. My father was a U.S. Navy diver and was stationed at the Naval Magazine on Guam. He was part of the Bomb Disposal Team and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team. He and his team traveled around Guam and some of the other islands blowing up bombs that were left over from WWII. We moved to Guam in late 1958 and returned to Texas when he retired in late 1960.

    My dad wasn’t big on base housing, so we first lived in Merizo. My brother and I went to the local elementary school (I was eight years old) and we were the only American kids going to the school. I can remember riding water buffaloes, exploring the jungle, camping near Talafofo Falls, sneaking into cock fights, eating bananas and mangoes, and generally having the time of my young life. I have a scar on my thumb where my brother accidentally chopped me with a machete while we were cutting down a banana tree.

    I remember going to Cocos Island to watch my dad blow up charges to widen/deepen the channel at the Coast Guard station, and playing in the miniature Japanese sub the was half-buried in the beach at Umatac Bay. We used to go into the jungle and pretend we were looking for the Japanese soldier that was still hiding out because he thought the war was still going on. They actually found the guy many years after we moved back to the states.

    My dad and his friends used to get all the kids decked out with canteens and machetes, and then they would takes us out at night to explore Japanese pill boxes from the war. At just the right time, they would take off yelling and scare the hell out of all us kids. When we returned to the states, my dad brought back three Japanese rifles with rusty bayonets, a few boxes of sea shells, a giant clam shell, and numerous fish balls. I still have all that stuff.

    We bought a Quonset hut right on the beach in Agat in 1959 (imagine what that would be worth today!), and I attended New Piti Elementary School. Oddly, the only thing I can remember about the school was playing tether ball.

    I have three books that must have been my books from either the school in Merizo or New Piti: Guam — Past and Present Part I, Part II and Part III. Written especially for children, and all done on a manual typewriter with a stapled binding. Inside it says: Government of Guam, Department of Education, 1951. The Quonset hut was destroyed in a Typhoon a few years after we sold it returned to the states.

    At nine years old, I got my first job at a gas station across the street from where we lived in Agat– 50 cents a day, and 50 cents for every flat I fixed. There was a bar right next door to us, too, and the drunks used to sneak over and peep through the windows at my mother. I remember my dad running after drunk, peeping Toms on more than one occasion with his .45 in hand!

    We owned an outrigger canoe while in Agat. And my friend taught me how to skim a hook across the water to catch fish with no bait, and then pull the fish off the hook and eat it raw. I can recall digging up rusty .45 ammunition and rusty hand grenades right on the beach where we lived. I even found a 5″/38 projectile stuck in the reef behind our house and my dad had to pull it out and take it to the base.

    I have found many official Navy pictures of my dad and his team on Woleai and a few from Guam, but cannot find a single picture of my family while we were living there. Can you imagine that, all that adventure for an eight/nine year old kid and not a single picture.

    Sorry this was so long, but it sure was nice remembering all that stuff!! 😉

  23. Hi, Jeff!

    I was in second grade during that teacher’s strike, and my favorite teacher — I only remember his first name, which was Bruce — was one of the picketers. The sub was this AWFUL young woman who, I’m certain, was barely qualified to teach. She gave us LOTS of vocabulary busy work.

    I don’t remember if the teachers won the strike, but Bruce never came back. 😦

    Miss Willeford was my first grade teacher, Bruce was my second grade teacher, I don’t remember the name of my third grade teacher (but she was nice!), and Mr. Paulino — who would play Air Supply on the classroom record player during test times — was my fourth grade teacher.

    Then we got transferred to Dallas in the summer of 1982.

    And I forgot about the sugarcare sellers, but I remember eating the sugarcane!

  24. Ha. This is the first response on Google for those who search for “New Piti Elementary”, so you should expect some traffic from fellow New Piti alum.

    I attended back in the 80-81 school year when I was in 3rd grade – the year before the public school teacher strike. I don’t remember my teacher’s name, but I seem to remember a heavyset woman with short hair. I also remember someone at the school used to sell cut sugarcane stalks to kids during recess, and the “duck walk” was punishment for the bad kids.

    The year of the strike, I was sent to The Cathedral Grade School and my brother to Bishop Baumgartner Junior High School.

  25. Hi Lizardqueen. I went to New Piti from 79-82, 1st through 4th grades. I really don’t remember teacher’s names…but you may have been in one of my classes!! How exciting is that. I know there was a teachers strike one year. I think Mrs. Ada or something like that was Chamorow teacher. I had a male teacher for math one year. Mrs. Retumbaum and I think Mrs. Perry. I really enjoyed the school. Cathy, Janet, and Rufel were the classmates I remember most. It’s been a long time. Do you remember any of what I mentioned?? O yeh…I remember watching the black and white doughnut movie in recess/lunch.

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